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Headscarf Is Not a Human Right, European Court Rules

Banning Muslim headscarves in state schools is not a violation of the freedom of religion, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Wednesday.

Banning Muslim headscarves in state schools is not a violation of the freedom of religion, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Wednesday. Two similar cases were brought to the Strasbourg court by Turkish female students complaining that a ban on their wearing a headscarf was an unjustified interference with their right to education. However, in a unanimous judgment, the seven judges in Strasbourg pointed to the Turkish Constitutional Court’s case law, which says secularism in Turkey is, among other things, the guarantor of democratic values. "Restrictions could be placed on freedom to manifest one’s religion in order to defend those values and principles," the Court of Human Rights ruled. The ruling might help the French government, which is facing several cases against a headscarf ban it plans to impose in state high schools, reported the Independent. Rulings from the Court in Strasbourg take precedence over national court rulings. ( EUobserver.com)

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